20th Century Boys
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20th Century Boys

Alternative Titles

English: 20th Century Boys
Synonyms: 20 Seiki Shounen, Nijuu Seiki Shounen, Nijuusseiki Shounen, 20thCB
Japanese: 20世紀少年


Type: Manga
Volumes: 22
Chapters: 249
Status: Finished
Published: Sep 27, 1999 to Apr 24, 2006
Genres: MysteryMystery, DramaDrama, HistoricalHistorical, Sci-FiSci-Fi, PsychologicalPsychological, SeinenSeinen
Authors: Urasawa, Naoki (Story & Art)
Serialization: Big Comic Spirits


Score: 8.951 (scored by 4312243,122 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #122
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #39
Members: 113,114
Favorites: 11,438


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Aug 16, 2007
daimira (All reviews)
20th Century Boys is about a group of men (and one woman) who, when they had been children, had been best friends, sharing a "secret base" in an overgrown field: a sanctuary where they could read manga, listen to music, and hide from the most evil twins in history, Yanbo and Mabo. One day, their "creative genius," Kenji suggested they bury a time capsule, fill it with their treasured possessions, and agree to unearth it only when the earth was in grave danger, for they would then save it.

Years later, they find themselves leading ordinary, unglamorous lives, their dreams of greatness long-buried under the dust read more
Jan 6, 2009
MagEarwhig (All reviews)
While the whole "saving the world" kind of storyline isn't anything new, it does it so well that it makes the reader so engrossed in the story and not want to stop reading. The switch between timelines are done so well that it hardly leaves you confused on what is going on. There are so many twist and turns in the story which makes nearly every chapter such an enjoyable read.

The art is quite detailed and even as the art was already quite good from the start, as it goes on it steadily improves. I have to say Urusawa's distinct art style definitely is read more
Dec 8, 2007
Master10K (All reviews)
20th Century Boys is a Seinen, Sci-fi, Psychological manga that takes storytelling to a whole new level.

From the beginning of the manga it is already clear what already happened and so the story just basically reveals, bit by bit, explaining the events that took place. However you have to be prepared for some major plot twists. What is so interesting about the story, is that it is set in different timelines (Childhood Era, Adult Era and Friend Era), which gives more insight into the characters and events that took place. However it is very hard to follow these different timelines, because it feels like reading read more
Jan 18, 2011
Sheepdude (All reviews)
The originality and success of 20th Century Boys owes itself to creator Urasawa Naoki's creativity and drawing talent. This is the kind of manga that you can get excited about and engross yourself in its story. Small boys in a little town dream big about saving the world and becoming defenders of justice, but the one thing they couldn't imagine is how their ideas will end up affecting the future.


The art is great. The characters and environments have a consistent and interesting style, and the drawings are a pleasure to look at. Urasawa-sensei does a great job at keeping the physical look of the characters read more
Aug 18, 2015
priden (All reviews)
First of all, i apologize if i made any English mistake, Unfortunately, I'm not native speaker, It's also my first. hope it helps you

- 20 Century Boys -
The best manga I've read, I really can't describe the legendary of this manga by words..

Story: 10/10
It's about a group got involved in a disaster include the whole world. I've read/watched a lot of psychological/drama works, and this is the best one, Also the author of this manga is Monster author too

Naoki's art style is not shounen style, his art is distinct, not like the author, he made a new art style, Personally i prefer his art read more
Oct 25, 2010
TargaryenX (All reviews)
I think that for some reason I'm not like most people who go wild for Urusawa's work. I feel the same way about 20CB that I did about Monster, too long, average art, average characters. So I'm not trying to offend anybody, this is just a review from a different perspective.

Story: First of all just like Monster, the story is far too long for its own good. There are 2 or 3 points where it could have been ended satisfactorily, but it lurched back to its feet and kept plodding along for many more volumes.

The contents of the story are very simple. Man read more
Feb 23, 2009
BarnacleBlister (All reviews)
This is one of the most engrossing and enjoyable works of fiction I have been lucky enough to experience. Across the mediums of film, literature, or graphic fiction, "20th Century Boys" stands tall as a true joy.

The story will capture your imagination, refusing to let go until you finish. (I read it twice in as many years; both occasions barely allowed me to complete the neccessary tasks of my life for those couple weeks I spent reading.) "20th Century Boys" does not attempt to transcend its melodramatic model, but it is an all-the-more-praiseworthy effort as a result. Simply put, Naoki Urasawa is a master read more
Dec 19, 2009
Nekkro (All reviews)
What could be the consequences from a child game ? What could be created by the imagination of children which are craving for adventures.20 Century Boys is a kind of manga which is shining with it's own brilliance and marvelous idea.Created from Naoki Urasawa it really absorbs every reader with it's story.Again the mangaka show us his unique story telling and proves that he is like a "prodigy" in the manga world.He shows us that every memory we have during our years of living is very precious and remembering it we feel like we at the same place where we were as children,when read more
Jan 8, 2015
Scieska (All reviews)
First of all I will apologize for the mistakes I could make, I'm not a native speaker so it isn't always easy for me to speak in a foreign langage.

Story : 10/10

I know 10 isn't really objective but if I had to choose one manga for my entire life I think it is this one. I'm not going to explain the story, it isn't really useful. I just want to say that the author have developed perfectly the story, there isn't one mistake in it. There is a lot of suspense and it's not by accident that the author is called "the master of read more
Jul 22, 2009
DrBoondigga (All reviews)
Being a fan of T. Rex, I was immediately interested in a book that referenced him in the title. I was even more interested to find out it was by Naoki Urasawa, the genius behind Monster. I started reading it right away, and hardly put it done till I was finished with it, and also finished the sequel right after that. Well there's two things I want to say in the opening paragraph, first is that even though this is an amazing Manga series, I can't help but feel it isn't quite at that level of Monster, and that being said, neither is it the read more
Jun 27, 2017
Gundroog (All reviews)
More like 22 (+2) volumes of blue balls.
20th Century Boys promises a lot, shows the most exciting teases and engrossing demonstrations but all the build up is hardly worth a damn when nothing comes after.
I held off from reviewing this until reading 21st Century Boys since that seemed to be the real conclusion to the story and while is does a better job of giving some closure it's still awful.

Art: one of the few things that are absolutely impeccable about this manga. Urasawa is good or nearly perfect at everything that comprises the visual aspect of the manga. His characters fit right read more
Aug 30, 2016
butekkusu (All reviews)
Don't be fooled, this manga is full of flaws.
Don't get discouraged, this manga is full of epic moments.
Don't get too excited, you can write everything that happens in this manga in such a way that it becomes obvious how formulaic it was.

Infinitely better than Monster, though, and I say that really being objective.
20th Century Boys has a lot of nonsense that's there to lead to great payoffs. Monster has nonsense that leads nowhere.

I remember this manga especially because of this:
-You anounce what you are going to do
-You go ahead and do it
-Everybody who heard you the first time is still very surprised because you did read more
Oct 16, 2020
Havos44 (All reviews)
20th Century Boys is a science fiction manga created by Naoki Urasawa. He won the 2001 Kōdansha Manga Prize in the General category, an Excellence Award in 2002 at the Japan Media Arts Festival, and the 2003 Shogakukan Manga Prize in the General category.

Story: 10/10
How does this masterpiece description? Let's say Urasawa acted like God and left every particle in the manga on and on to another event. 20th century boys must have been one of the most laborious manga in history, every thing that happens is linked to a stronger one. Each vision, each writing, each image, each person, will be absolutely important in read more
Oct 21, 2013
Fummiga (All reviews)
20th century boys is very different for all I ever saw, you have a couple of guys living in a "adult world", but is the type of a children mind, the capacity of the "friend" persuade people is very high, but in fact, the people are easiest persuaded, like ONU, the first minister of Japan. The world is to idiot, the people don't think and follow a crazy man who didn't show his face, who convinced them just making a couple of magic tricks.
The minority part of people, who have a behavior like a real adult, it's the "resistance?" part of that world, read more
Feb 2, 2015
Akabawi (All reviews)
Just when I thought there couldn't exist something better than Monster, I was surprised by how far superior Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys is. Sadly no anime adaptation exists for this manga yet. And I could only hope that in the current era where old works are being revived , this may get an anime adaptation soon.
The Plot : 10/10
Just Perfect ! Multi-layered stories with a switch back and forth through timelines without ever feeling out of place , This is a story that is perfectly executed with lots of suspense and intense to the fullest. The childish cover may dismiss a lot of people read more
Aug 11, 2015
miniclip134 (All reviews)

SHOCKER!!!:Story isnt ORIGINAL!!!!!!!!. but tbh the story is your generic insane cult working in the shadows to try to take over the world and an unlikely hero which has virtually zero chance at stopping the mad cult will try to protect humanity. as generic as that might seem the execution with that story is wonderful and the first 50 chapters are by far the greatest piece of literature I've ever seen. the first 50 chapters had a great main character, exciting drama, great backstory, solid villain (for at least 50 chapters) and so on. The problem is the nosedive (in my opinion) the series takes read more
Apr 13, 2009
BorisSoad (All reviews)
20th century boys may seem as a standard manga in the beginning. Saving the world doesn't sound as the most outstanding theme for a manga. But the mangaka of this series, which wrote 'monster' too, is a genius and it seems that everything he touches turns gold.

Perhaps the manga is so good because the story is not really about saving the world, but about friendship and youth memories. Bonds with old friends and how every person has his own qualities. The many side-characters are all like real people, with real lives and etc.And what makes this maga very special are all the 'memories'. In read more
Mar 28, 2019
ParadoxDelta (All reviews)
This story has many great traits but suffers from repetitive themes and the lack off some satisfying payoff. Since my enjoyment varied heavily from arc to arc, I want to rate them separately:

1st arc: 9/10
What I enjoyed here was the way the conspiracy was built up and the characters were sucked into it. This really had me on the edge of my seat. Also the link between the harsh adult life and the childhood nostalgia was a strong point.

2nd arc: 6/10
The enjoyment soon vanished, when I realised that the second arc offers pretty much the same progression as the first but with less interesting characters read more
Jul 16, 2020
MrChickster (All reviews)
I normally don't invest time in writing reviews or analyzing manga and anime in-depth, however, 20th Century Boys was such a dragged experience that I felt the need to leave a few words behind as a note to myself for the future.

Overall this manga certainly seemed like an enthralling experience at least based on the first 10 volumes. A profound story about the relationships between children who dream big and strongly adhere to their beliefs. The drama that ensnares those who cannot achieve their needs, the true meaning of justice in the world, an individual's role in it, and the not so black and white read more
Aug 15, 2009
shahzebxd (All reviews)
Ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce you to one of the greatest manga I have ever read and also by the one of the most innovative mangaka in recent history. Yes I'm talking about '20th century boy' by Naoki Urasawa. Now before I review you this great piece of art I must mention that before reading this manga I was a sucker for shounen-type mangas, I used to be crazy about them and thought that no manga could ever overwhelm them but shounen mangas like naruto,bleach are never-ending so I gave 20th century boy a chance cause it was short and I read alot read more